Solar Brewed Beer: Boiling the Wort


Though still an artisanal process in many breweries, beer brewing is no longer a fully manual system. A lot of high-tech industrialized machinery has allowed breweries to scale up, professionalize and standardize the precise production of the revered recipes. This beer brewing process demands a lot of power, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of gallons of liquid “Wort” needing to be heated to approximately 212F degrees.

And so, the “Greening up” of this boiling process with its vast amount of electricity required is very much on the agenda of beer brewers around the world. Further, it is not just for efficiency reasons. From the small microbreweries with a few DIY-installed panels on the roof, to the industrial sized breweries with roofs covered in solar modules, breweries are cutting their energy costs AND building more sustainable companies and brands. Some breweries are proudly marketing themselves as a “solar powered brewery” appealing to their customers with a shared interest in authenticity, sustainability, local sourcing and a love of earthy honest beer.

In America, the number of breweries is growing aggressively, with a new one opening just about every day. Some of the largest breweries have invested in solar energy to help power their massive facilities, such as Miller-Coors, who run a 3.2 MW solar system to power their Irwindale brewery in California. Sierra Nevada, considered a craft-brewery, ranks high both in production of beer and production of solar with a 2.6MW and 650kW system in California and North Carolina respectively. Among the smaller breweries, Asylum Beer in Madison, Wisconsin sports a 15kW solar system and Central Waters Brewing in Milwaukee uses a 20kW system, with both breweries located in the Midwest which yields excellent solar hours to produce local solar brewed beer.

Brewing great beer with clean solar energy has become a beloved addition, bringing integrity and character to craft and draft beer offerings. It is certain to encourage beer lovers to raise a toast to solar-powered beer world-wide!

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